Florida man conspired with Central Florida Oath Keepers ahead of Jan. 6 Capitol riots, FBI says

David Moerschel took part in military-style stack as Oath Keepers made way into Capitol, records show

(Left) Dave Moerschel, (Right) Kelly Meggs, (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A man from Southwest Florida is accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and conspiring with other members of the Oath Keepers from Central Florida ahead of the attacks, according to the FBI.

David Moerschel, 43, of Punta Gorda, was arrested by federal agents.

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Investigators said Moerschel took part in the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as a member of the Oath Keepers, who forced their way into the Capitol building during the siege — which caused significant damage to the building and interrupted the certification of the Electoral College vote for the presidential election by Congress.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the FBI, Moerschel was in contact with several members of the Oath Keepers in the days leading up to the Capitol siege, including Kelly Meggs and his wife Connie Meggs, of Dunnellon, and Kenneth Harrelson, of Titusville.

Investigators believe Kelly Meggs took part in the planning of the Capitol attack, coordinating the Oath Keepers’ efforts with the Proud Boys and at least one other militia group.

Records show Moerschel took part in conversations with Kelly Meggs and Harrelson on the encrypted messaging service Signal on Jan. 5-7. Agents said they also found debit card charges from a Mastercard registered to Moerschel that made several purchases in Northern Virginia around that same time.

Records show the FBI also obtained photos, news footage and surveillance video of Moerschel taking part in a military-style “stack” with other members of the Oath Keepers during the riots. The photos, according to the criminal complaint, show Moerschel dressed in a long-sleeve black jacket with a backward green baseball cap bearing an Oath Keepers insignia.

Investigators said they made contact with Moerschel’s attorney on June 14 and were given a black flak vest, without Velcro patches, that “appears consistent with the one Moerschel is wearing” in those photos.

FBI: Surveillance photo from inside a hotel showing David Moerschel (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

The FBI also said that there is a surveillance photo from inside of a hotel, the Comfort Inn Ballston in Arlington, Virginia, from Jan. 7 that appears to show Moerschel with a concierge cart carrying at least one long gun case onto an elevator. Investigators said that the Oath Keepers were storing weapons at the hotel to serve as a “quick reaction force.”

Agents said they were also given a black duffel bag and firearm case, both consistent with the ones from that surveillance photo from inside the hotel.

Moerschel is accused of attempting to obstruct or impede congressional proceedings, entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so and conspiring with others to commit a crime.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.